The Status Of The Health Care System

In the United States, healthcare services are provided by a number of different organizations. Most of these belong to the private sector, with 62% of hospitals being non-profit organizations. 18% are run for profit, with the remaining 20% being owned and operated by the government.

About 60% to 65% of the cost of providing healthcare services to the public is done through Medicare, Medicaid, and programs such as the Veterans Health Administration, TRICARE, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Health insurance for U.S. residents under the age of 67 is typically paid for by their employers, or by the employers of a family member. Some pay for their health insurance out of their own pockets, while others do not have any insurance at all. Health insurance for those working in the public sector is typically paid for by the government.

The World Health Organization has estimated the per capita healthcare expenditure in the U.S. at approximately $8,608. This cost is higher than that paid in any other country. The United States also has a higher healthcare expenditure to GDP ratio than any other nation, estimated at about %17.2 in 2011. It is worth noting that despite the higher cost of healthcare in the U.S., the quality of that care is actually the lowest when compared to similar countries. In fact, a report (conducted by Bloomberg) on countries with efficient healthcare systems showed that out of the 48 countries, the United States placed 46th.

Moreover, a 2013 study of 17 high-income countries (conducted by the National Institutes of Health) showed that the United States had a dismal record of infant deaths, heart and lung conditions, sexually transmitted disease, adolescent pregnancy, injury, homicide, and disability rates. Taken altogether, these factors result in the United States ranking one of there lowest among similar countries for life expectancy. To illustrate, a male in the U.S. has nearly four years fewer less to live than a male in the country with the highest ranking.

Aggregate hospital costs in the United States were estimated at about $387.3 billion in 2011. This represents an increase of 63% increase since 1997.

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